Divine Proportion

“The good, of course, is always beautiful, and the beautiful never lacks proportion.” –Plato


I hope this finds you enjoying a lovely September. After a summer interlude, we're excited to share new inspirations and new pieces with you!  As we embark on a new season, I wanted to first take a moment to reconnect with a principle that helps shape all we do at the Atelier: the divine proportion.  



While traveling in the UK in August, I visited my alma mater, University College London, where I earned my degree in mathematics. It comes as a surprise to some that I spent years immersed in theorems and equations, but they are simply another language for expressing form and proportion. Mathematicians always speak in terms of beauty: Equations must be elegant, algorithms beautiful. 


When I design a piece, I always have one particular mathematical rule in mind: the golden ratio, or divine proportion: Two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. This is the lodestar of the elegant balance we see in nature, in the spiral of seashells or leaves. In art, an iconic example is Da Vinci, whose Mona Lisa is proportioned according to the golden ratio; Da Vinci’s drawings also illustrate De Divina Proportione (On the Divine Proportion), the 15th-century mathematical text by Luca Pacioli.




When adhering to the golden mean, it’s like you are guided by nature. For example, our mantra for our ShenFeng line is “we find the most authentic elegance in Nature’s purest simplicity." Going beyond the aesthetic, we seek a harmonious whole.





The golden mean is also known as “the sacred cut,” which captures the intention with we approach the creation of each piece at the Atelier. This autumn, as we unveil our new garments, our hope is that they help you find balance and beauty in your world too.